Herald Zeitung

New Braunfels City Council members on Monday finalized the 2022 street maintenance project list.

The approval allocates about $1.7 million for fiscal year 2022 to fund more than 40 roadway maintenance projects selected from the city’s 901 lane miles of streets, ranging from preventative maintenance to complete roadway rehabilitation projects.

The plan was developed through public input with city staff recommendations.

This list is separate from the projects that are part of the 2013 and 2019 bonds.

According to Greg Malatek, the city’s public works director, several kinds of maintenance strategies to lengthen the life of a roadway are put into place, which include:

Crack sealing: This work consists of cleaning and sealing the cracks in the pavement with an asphalt sealant to prevent moisture from entering into the flexible base and/or subgrade material. 

Pothole repairs: This work consists of removing loose material from a small, shallow repair area, applying tack coat to surfaces of these areas, placing the repair material to grade and compacting to conform to the existing roadway surface using mechanical tampers or rollers to achieve full consolidation.

Base repairs: Since these repairs are much larger and deeper than potholes, this work consists of saw-cutting the repair area and removing the loose, existing asphalt pavement and base material. Once the loose material is cleaned out, tack coat is applied to the surfaces of the repair area, and the new material is placed in lifts no more than four inches deep.

Blade level-up: This work consists of the placement of a thin layer of asphalt pavement to fill in areas of the pavement that hold water due to the shifting subgrade.

Chip seals and limited overlays: A chip seal consists of spraying a thin layer of asphalt over the pavement, followed by applying a thin layer of small aggregate. Once this is done, a thin hot-mix asphalt pavement overlay is placed over the chip seal. This is done to waterproof the existing street surface and to increase skid resistance and the life of the pavement section.

Mill and overlays: This work consists of milling two or three inches of the existing pavement section and placing a single layer of hot-mix asphalt pavement which is used to restore the street to its original shape and ride.

Rehabilitation/reconstruction of roadways: This work consists of reconstructing the entire roadway section, replacing sections of concrete curb and fixing the drainage issues so water drains properly.

Microsurfacing: This work involves a one-fourth inch overlay.

Each city street was evaluated, and an Overall Condition Index, or OCI, was assigned to each street segment. 

The OCI considers the smoothness of the roadways and cracks, rutting, utility cuts and potholes in the pavement surface. 

A street with an OCI of 99 is in excellent condition and needs no repair or treatment. Usually, an OCI of 19 or less indicates pavement and road base failure, and reconstruction is required.